The epilepsy medicine Briviact (brivaracetam) will now be available within NHS Scotland and NHS Wales for children over 4 years old for focal-onset seizures. This will be used as an add-on medicine taken alongside the person’s other medicines.
Brivaracetam is already available for use in children 4 years and older across Europe, authorised by the European Medicines Agency in July 2018.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium accepted expanding the use of this medicine in Scotland on 10 December 2018. The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group also extended the licence for the medicine in December to include children over 4 years old in Wales. UCB, the manufacturer of Briviact, said that this decision will give children with uncontrolled epilepsy another option.
Laura Byram, ecosystem head of neurology at UCB called epilepsy an area of unmet need. She added that “more [epilepsy medicines] need to be made available to children in order to maximise the potential of achieving seizure control.”
The company explained that the safety and effectiveness of brivaracetam has been studied in adults and additional safety studies in children over 4. UCB added that focal-onset seizures in children are similar to those in adults and epilepsy medicines affect them in a similar way. The dose is adjusted for children.
The possible side-effects from this medicine in children are similar to those seen in adults. These include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches and tiredness. However, an additional side-effect reported in children was restlessness, called psychomotor hyperactivity.